Did we *REALLY* learn anything from Y2K??greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
Did we *REALLY* learn anything from Y2K?? Or are we quickly falling back asleep again? Anything learned from Y2K which could help us address the much bigger "infrastructure" problems? i.e the state of our environment?
I'll post a few of my perspectives on this question...and then the forum can shred it.
-- Steve Meyers (SMeyers33@aol.com), January 11, 2000
I learned that one needs to fully research any sources (credentials and background, affilliations and qualifications) who offer information on any subject and to take all things with a grain of salt in the meantime.
-- Three Dots (AKA ...) (email@example.com), January 11, 2000.
I'll go back to programming with 2 digits, since it was overblown and really never a problem in the first place. (Just kidding).
-- Larry (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 11, 2000.
-- Hokie (Hokie_@hotmail.com), January 11, 2000.
[Part I of III]
Note: these are email excerpts from the last few days. Sorry, a few ideas *are* repeated here and here...but taken as a whole, they make a larger point, and well worth the read.)
Subj: Post Mortem on Y2K - Roger Waters was right.... Date: 1/10/2000
In a message dated 1/10/2000 9:58:09 AM Central Standard Time, email@example.com writes:
<< It strikes me that the Y2K post-mortem is a bit premature...It doesn't mean that the mosquitos don't exist. It only means that Darwin was right and Y2K is not an extinction-level event What counts is: *how* was the money spent?...etc.,
It is much too soon for a post-mortem; it is much too soon to claim Y2K was a non-event. I leave the long-term benefits of Y2K for ecomm and other such activities to those admiring the forest...while I continue to bump into trees.
Robert Rosen >> ---------------------------------------------
Insightful analysis on 'Y2K Post Mortem - A Bit Premature'...pretty much 'dead on target' (no pun intended).
From another perspective/context though....the apparent illusion of 'Y2K success' can be seen somewhat analogous to getting the intercom and all the pinball machines 'fixed'...on the Titanic. Job well done, but perhaps not all that relevant in the bigger picture of things; just one less problem to complicate 'present matters'.
The #1 Major Infrastructure Problem was never 'fixing the wire-com system' on the boat. It may have been the most immediate, but not the most pressing. Like the Titanic, it's where the boat is headed in general...as a final destination, which is relevant. I'm sure the Titanic passed one or more icebergs, or had a few 'near misses' before finding it's true destiny. Too bad the Captain didn't keep his eye on the ball for the entire journey...huh? Maybe would have resulted in a different outcome. I wonder if there is a hidden lesson in all this for us? But you know, Man and his technology... absolutely invulnerable.
Lest we not forget the many global problems we were and are now facing (before Y2K temporarily took center stage; but fading quickly)...now that people are getting back to their TV soap operas and other 'pass-times' of Galactic importance: making profits, getting ahead, keeping our heads down, don't stir-up the Natives, relax, meditate and it will all take care of itself; see how smart us humans are? and all that rah-rah, blah...blah, etc.
Clearly, we have bigger problems than Y2K to admit, face up to, assess and remediate...a major understatement. You know...the one's we keep hearing about, the one's that won't go away, the one's we are (mostly) all in denial about, or rather...sadly mis-informed about...those ones. The one's that don't have a quick fix; the tough ones: rainforests, ozone, dioxins, fluorides, nuclear waste, global heat balance, wide spread ignorance, media systems filled with garbage, i.e. 'thought pollution'; too many governments (and corporations) way off-course; screwed-up global and national priorities - especially in the US; Man's inhumanity to man, the environment and to other species; world hunger; 'why' industrial hemp is 'illegal'; suppressing ozone medical therapy...who knows, maybe even throw in 'the ET situation' and crop circles...and other 'innocuous little trees' in The Big Forest - that we all bump into now and then...just to keep things interesting, so we don't all fall back asleep at the same time.
Something to think about....or not.
Steve Meyers Global Strategies Project http://www.bashar.com/GSP
"A high level of curiosity is one of the distinguishing characteristics of true intelligence...."
"Mankind: the species that entertained itself to death." Roger Waters / 'Pink Floyd'
-------------- Snip ------------- Part II of III
I am afraid that in my view, the "victory" was declared prematurely. This may become even more evident before January comes to an end. [I agree 100%. My comment about the Jan 1 roll over 'victory' was meant *only* in the sense that we did not see nuke plant and chemical plant explosions, i.e. multiple-simultaneous Bophal India's and Chernobyl's...which could not be hidden from public view. I strongly suspect the 'post Y2K' info reports on specific problems...are about as void of specific content....as most of the "pre-Y2K problem reports'. There is much information which did not, and is not, making it to the surface. There is every reason for companies, foreign governments, etc. to NOT give an accurate assessment of the actual problems.
Remember also, Gore Vidal's reference to the study which indicated that about 94% of our society are chronic liars...(no small thing) and I hope to locate that report...Gore has mentioned that study in at least 4-5 talks he has given. Factor that little statistic into the "Y2K situation", what we have been told, and what we are being now told. It is not a complete picture; not even close.
I really meant what I said in my email, that Y2K was a 'kindergarten primer' for what Humanity is facing; that it is easier for the specialists to look at mechanical computers than to look at the human condition; that fixing 4 digit date fields is much easier than fixing Ozone depletion, CO2 levels and the current rate of species extinction, endocrine disrupters, etc. I wish the 'experts' would see the principles involved and get a little more 'comprehensive' in their understanding of what 'infrastructure' really means, #1 being: the integrity of our *global* bio-systems. Wait till they wake up to that one...if Y2K didn't give them the "kick" they were looking for.
Of course, I will be accused of being "off topic" by the Y2K specialists for my looking beyond 'computer chips and code'...at what our 'infrastructure problems' are....and yes, *including* collapse of 'infrastructure' in government integrity and honesty (malfeasance & madness in high office); corrupted mass media systems, our eco- bio-systems, not to mention massive social denial.....on and on. That paper will be forthcoming. Many of these issues addressed in the non-Y2K sections of the Global Strategies Project website.
Again, if you wish to take an interesting 'side trip' as to what has happened in our govt 'infrastructure', do first read Senator John DeCamp's "The Franklin Cover-up" and then the even more disturbing "Trance Formation of America" to see how the 'balance of power' in our Republic has been undermined...more than any 'apparent' Y2K failures which have surfaced...so far. Also, my paper at http://www.bashar.com/GSP/sovereign.htm which discusses other "collapsing infrastructure" problems concerning our Constitutional Republic.....but who cares (or even remembers?) about those issues these days. Remember Orwell's 1984 double-speak and "erasing history"? Except this one is for real, not fiction.
The above is not even the tip-of-the-ice-berg as to the 'infrastructure problems' Humanity is facing....it's just that Y2K took center stage for awhile because of the certainty of the roll over date, and that a committee meeting could not delay it any longer, say for instance, as can be done with environmental regulations. Humanity gets 'keenly interested' when the wolf is at the door, or when someone is 'holding a knife at their throat' as happened with Y2K....but generally not until then, despite all the puffery, mental posturing and excuse making of specialists and sophisticated egos drowning in denial.]
In my (arrogant & unfounded?) opinion, I still feel you (and certainly Leon, Ed Yordon, Tom Barnett) got closer to the simple truth of the matter, and went beyond just a "techo analysis" of Y2K, and I am very thankful that you (all) are there.....and did all that you did. Can't find the words; very inspiring to me, very informative.
Yup...it ain't over by any means...and if they think Y2K was a problem....wait till they wake up to the reality of the global environmental situation if they want a good challenge. They don't know it yet...but Y2K, even if fully solved, is barely the beginning of understanding what "infrastructure" is all about. Guaranteed 100%. But that's for me to know, and for them to find out...hopefully before the momentum carries us beyond points of no return, which is already happening in more areas of the world than they know about or could face up. And they thought Y2k was a 'problem', and that it's "all over". Not hardly.
I just had lunch with a 30 year veteran Special Forces individual; his brother in law is a two star general (meaning, he has access to fairly good intelligence). I asked him about his views as to why such massive denial on Y2k, environment, ET situation, Govt-Corp corruption, etc. He answer was rather simple, "The reason they cannot deal with the issues, much less discuss or consider them, is *because they do not have the capacity to integrate the emotional implications of what it means*...so they slide into a disconnected 'mental' state, void of any feeling, values, or what it means in human terms. Without that, there is no "thinking" that amounts to anything. Ultimately, it results fractured specialists, the loss of common sense, and even curiosity, because they really are not "thinking".....they are mentally posturing, and that's about it. Worse, they believe their own drivel...and that's a very dangerous thing. Then, we get called in to clean up the mess."
More later...best always for all you have done and stood up for....at least a few people noticed. Can't tell you how much I enjoy, and was educated by, your writings & insights, Leon's, Ed Yordon, Barnett, etc. Outstanding.
Global Strategies Project http://www.bashar.com/GSP
-------------- Snip ------------- Part III of III
[...'the good part']
In a message dated 1/6/2000 5:04:24 PM Central Standard Time, Chris.Rohrs@sf.frb.org writes:
<< Subj: Re: [uk-bcp] FYI - Millennium Bug prophet receives death threats. (reply) Date: 1/6/2000 5:04:24 PM Central Standard Time From: Chris.Rohrs@sf.frb.org (Chris Rohrs) To: SMeyers33@aol.com
Reference: Posted 05/01/2000 4:00pm by Thomas C. Greene http://www.theregister.co.uk/991231-000005.html
Thanks, Steve I finally found it. "Defrocked Prophet of Y2K Doom" really bothered me because de Jager has never been a doom prophet. Guess they wanted to ring a few people's bells.
You are welcome Chris......
Yes, very disturbing that some individuals can find nothing better to do, other than to tear down someone who is so intelligent, and more so, obviously a very caring person. He seemed to miss that about De Jager.....*and all the other* precise, brilliant, caring people who gave Y2K the serious attention it deserved. They did their very best, they were honest; they did real work, hundreds if not thousands of hours...because they cared.....and *that* is what counts.
So few are able to admit that the central problem with Y2K were the *unknowns*....NOT what we 'knew' about it. We were all quite lucky....at least so far (no major chemical or nuclear accidents)...that was my prime concern, above all others. Like I said, "Who needs to try to dodge *those* icebergs...when there are already so many other potential Y2K problems to navigate? It would only complicate matters that much worse."
Obviously, the idiot that made that statement about De Jager had no comprehension of what a Y2K breakdown would mean....in terms of human suffering, here or elsewhere. Or its implications for social instability...a very ugly, hurtful thing...(care to visit Russia or Calcutta today?)...and/or greatly accelerating existing ecological problems. What folly.
At best, 'sophisticated egos reduced to intellectual sword fighting'...devoid of human compassion and completely missing the negative potentials involved in Y2K. Very upsetting that someone could 'shoot from the hip' and (attempt to) discredit someone of the caliber of De Jager, and by implication, all the others working at his 'level' as well. Then threaten him? How encouraging, no? To anyone who still has a brain, or a shred of Heart left in them, this individual only draws attention to themself and how much is lacking within...they are saying very little about de Jager, and a great deal about themselves.
Sorry I'm a bit upset here, but I am. For so many to have worked so hard to insure the safety of Humanity...only to have other *very* small people take pot shots at them...is disgusting. That all the years of focused effort...could be reduced to "eat crow in public" because we *didn't* have a disaster?? Are these people insane? Unbelievable.
It makes me think of Rudyard Kipling's "IF"
'If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken, twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools....'
That about sums up my view of the individual who saw *nothing* of value or benefit in what De Jager and many others did. They missed what is most important about 'the Man' as a human being...and all he did, his contributions. We are quite lucky to have the De Jager's, Gordon's, Kappleman's, Yordon's, Barnett's, Jim Lord's, Koskinen's, David Spinks/UK, Dale Way, etc. and *so* many others who helped get us this far. Yes, even Gary North deserves much credit, even if only as "Devils Advocate" to make people stop and think twice. He did. Gary North is a brilliant individual and a straight shooter; much insight, much excellent analysis; very hard working, dedicated, caring individual. He certainly is nobody's fool. Gary played 'the part' very few have the guts or tje brains to pull off. He didn't cause the problems...he tried to solve them. That takes a lot of caring...that is what I see about the man.
Everyone did their part and made a difference. North got many people to prepare...and had the situation turned out differently, his work would been seen in a very different light today. They seem to miss the connection between those who kept the pressure on...and how much *did* get accomplished; (more than what most expected it seems). Yes, any informed person knows very well we are not out of the woods yet...still more hills and valleys to traverse before we 'Know' we are in the clear. We are not at that point yet...only 1 week into Y2K. There is still more to come it seems; let's hope it's manageable.
I would much prefer that people were "over concerned" and erred on the side of safety, spent extra money, etc....than some half-ass approach which could have resulted in incomprehensible levels of suffering for millions...had the pressure not been on continuously. How people can miss that..is beyond my understanding.
In my view, hats-off and kudos to all those who cared enough to do everything they could, individually and collectively, to insure the safety of so many. We are all very fortunate (so far) and *that* ought to be the understanding that comes out of this "Y2K thing".
What about the he individual efforts AND the cooperation which took place...world wide. When is the last time Russia & the US sat down together to make sure their nuclear weapons didn't go off at each other? How did all that get lost...what...because 'we *didn't* have a massive breakdown' on Jan 1? Y2K helped us realize we are all in this together...and that we depend on each other, and that we need each other....how could that recognition not have significant, lasting value in our fractured world? To ignore all that and more.....and then tear down the very people who worked tirelessly to cover all bases? My, aren't we an enlightened species...
Actually, Y2K was a good 'practice run' for the ecological problems we are now facing, which arguably make Y2K look quite 'trivial' in true context..(see below)...if only they would open their eyes. The information is there, but who knows if they have the emotional guts to look at it for what it is, and not go back to sleep.
Sorry for all my opinions, but that's they way I see it, based on thirty years of comprehensive, global-environmental research. The data on the environment speaks for itself...doesn't need me or any 'authority' to 'validate' it. It's there, and we better face up to it like we just did with Y2K. This is not the 'end' of our problems which need solving...only the beginning.
Anyone who cares to argue that one.....would be a certified fool.
For a short briefing, see:
http://www.bashar.com/GSP/rachel.htm http://www.bashar.com/GSP/sciwarn1.htm. http://www.bashar.com/GSP/articwarm.htm http://www.bashar.com/GSP/water.htm http://www.bashar.com/GSP/oceans.htm http://www.arkinstitute.com/htmls/update.html http://www.bashar.com/GSP/treedying.htm http://www.bashar.com/GSP/butterfly5.htm http://www.chem-tox.com/chlordane/default.htm http://www.trufax.org/fluoride/isfrextracts.html http://www.foe.co.uk/camps/indpoll/0198ape.htm http://www.bashar.com/GSP/erthstat.htm http://www.sierraclub.org/cafos/map/index.asp http://www.mg.co.za/mg/news/97jul2/29jul-radioactive2.html http://www.bashar.com/GSP/chernobyl3.htm
I invite anyone to read *all* the articles, take them *as a whole*...and put forth their 'assessment' of "what it all means" as far as "infrastructure problems". Good luck..(smile)...because we are going to need it even more than what we have just seen with Y2K. It will be quite interesting to see how many "experts" will still be standing after Y2K, or...if they truly learned anything about 'infrastructure threats', or... if it was just well- intentioned "academic posturing"...specialists lacking true context, depth and comprehensive analysis. How convenient. Denial is just such a wonderful thing.
The only problem with 'seemingly making it through' Y2K....is that we probably will not really learn anything lasting from Y2K, and continue unabated, pedal-to-the-floor, racing towards ecological disaster as we have been...under the false impression that we are so smart...."Now, we can lick anything." What a dangerous illusion...and lost opportunity to really "focus up" about the truth of our present global environmental situation: Our planet is dying....and we are pretending (or are being told) that nothing is happening. Uh huh. (My, what a brilliant species...so smart.) Think we can fix those problems as easily as a four digit date field? Keep dreaming.
I like Robert Dean's assessment: "If you are not concerned about these issues, then you are simply uninformed."
and "Why are these issues so important?"......Make no mistake: it's because one of the things at stake...is the future of Planet Earth...."
(Contrary to popular myth, there are real solutions IF we got down to it with the same focus as Y2K, we might even surprise ourselves...and 'make it.' see http://www.bashar.com/GSP/door- solution.htm
In very short order...we'll see how much we really learned from all this, or if 'sailing through Y2K' (as so many now think)...actually turns out to be 'a curse in disguise'. Maybe if things had broken down a bit more...we might have directed our attention to the other threats to our True Infrastructure...our bio-sphere...and Man's destructive impact on it, pursuing short-term profits for the few, at the painful expense of the many.
Those are the real issues, now that we are past the Y2K '10 yard line'. 90 yards to go before we reach the finish line.
Let's hope we care enough about ourselves, each other, and future generations...to get the job done. We are way behind schedule as it is. Any doubts? Read the above articles and, please, show me where I'm wrong.
Steve Meyers Global Strategies Project http://www.bashar.com/GSP SMeyers33@aol.com
PS. Now what the Polly's gonna say? 'Call Ghost Busters???'
-- Steve Meyers (SMeyers33@aol.com), January 11, 2000.
We learned that technology is invincible, the bull market will go on forever, preparation is only performed by wackos, and let's not forget the United States is entitled to an extravagant lifestyle. Of course this sets us up for the right cross that could send us to the canvas. Watching the future unfold, one day at a time...
-- Squid (ItsDark@down.here), January 11, 2000.
One final Post...related to all the aboveIn a message dated 1/10/2000 3:03:56 AM Central Standard Time, firstname.lastname@example.org writes:
<< Steve It is pretty certain that this reactor was not shut down as a result of a direct date related problem. With the number of residual safety systems in these things it is very un likely that a single computer failure will cause a shut down. The costs of shutting down and then starting up again is simply too high to rely on a single system. [I agree. Still, it will be interesting to see the NRC final report, and the specific facts of the situation at Palo, to see what caused the loss of pressure...and lessons learned, if any.]
In the UK we know even simple PLC's are not trusted in the nuclear industry. Now Y2K is over I was considering what to do with the UK-BCP group - any ideas? I already have a very active and fast growing E-Commerce security egroup (my back ground is IT Security and Risk etc..)??? >>
Thanks for taking the time to reply. Good question......truly. I'm probably not the best person to ask that question, as I am quite biased as a result of my 30 years research on global environmental issues. Very comprehensive research...we look at any and everything, including political issues, corporate agendas, corruption, who allocates money and for what reasons, who decides global priorities, media systems and reporting, technology developments, and tracking the work of the many individuals and groups who focus on specific environmental problems....as best we can.
If you will take the time to read the following....you will see how my reply does address your question, but it can't be answered without an understanding of context. So please bear with me; this is more of an informal letter than a polished 'white paper'....still, I believe it makes the point reasonably well.
The world is highly connected and inter-related...a specialized approach to a single environmental issues, though helpful and well intended, has little hope of engendering meaningful change. That is why, despite all the talk and rhetoric over the years, there has been so little effect an slowing the rate of environmental destruction worldwide. For example, there was more rainforest destroyed last year...than in any previous year. That's after 12 years of 'discussion' on that subject.....not very encouraging. Because corporations and international bankers (the most dominant global actors, wielding power above any single government) have one goal: maximum profits in the shortest period of time - not a very good guidance/navigation system.
It was my hope that the "Y2K information/infrastructure issue" would have inspired others to *really* look at our 'infrastructure" problems....
Number 1: being the integrity of our bio-sphere;
Number 2: being the quality of information coming through our media/education systems.
Number 3: man's productive processes and technologies (infrastructure systems) and their impact on the bio-sphere, human, and other bio- organisms.
There is more than enough data coming in to show that "Y2K" is/was 'trivial' compared to the far reaching effects of chemical pollution, dioxins, PCBs; global heat balance and arctic warming; endocrine disrupters, fluorides, chlordane; chlorine in all forms, including CFCs and resulting ozone destruction; rate of species extinction (the rate now faster than any of the previous known 6 Great Extinctions in the geologic record - see 1999 National Geographic report on this issue); the recent ice core samples pulled from Siberia which show that current levels of CO2 are double, and methane levels are triple...the levels found which triggered the last 18 glaciation periods.....and on and on. Very serious stuff.
The above issues are perhaps not as attractive or as "glitzy" as fixing the four-digit date field problem. Emotionally easier to worry about the failure of an inanimate object (computer/Y2K) than to look at the Human Condition and understand 'why' that problem persists...or how to "fix". It would be too revealing about where our priorities are....as individuals and as collective societies. Clearly, we have a long way to go yet...
My focus on Y2K over the last 2 1/2 years was in recognizing that *IF* Y2K caused significant system failures...the rate of environmental destruction could *very* easily have been accelerated...and, our abilty to deal with them lessened; perhaps even losing critical information on the state of the enviroment, or abilty to monitor it. More Bophals, Exxon Valdez's, Chernobyls and other new 'surprises'. (example: 10 year follow-up studies on the Bophal, India incident has now expanded to having severely impacted well over 250,000 people......long term respiratory damage, damage to immune/endocrine systems, etc., and imposing a severe burden on India's medical facilities...for those that are even getting any medical help at all....the rest go unnoticed.)
So far, there has been no immediate, obvious, catastrophic 'Y2K' problems...thank goodness. As you know, this does not mean in any sense that we are 'out of the woods' on that issue...and certainly not on the 'other infrastructure problems' addressed above....they have profound implications; obvious to anyone who is informed on the issues. To me, Y2K was only 'a single spoke' on a 'infrastructure problem wheel' which has *at least 30 critical spokes*......any one of which failing...would have extreme, irreparable negative consequences for 'Continuity of Life' on this planet.
So, given my biases....in an ideal world....the BCP member group (those that care about these issues) would *re-context and generalize* what they just learned from Y2K....and from there, try to answer/identify:
1) What *are* the fundamental "bio-infrastructures" of our global ecology? To what extent have they already been damaged?
2) What are the present (and expected) RATES of destruction?
3) Best "guestimates" on how much longer these systems can withstand current rates of destruction? Prioritize in terms of mostly likely threats to human well being and other species in terms of extent of impact, persistence over time, our ability to 'remediate', etc. (Think globally, not just "our country".)
4) What areas are most likely to go past points-of-no-return first? Similar to the Y2K "assessment stage" - an inventory of man's activities and impacts on global bio-infrastructure...the whole picture, very important. Not just "Lets stop killing the dolphins, and forget about everything else, cause I like dolphins....they are so cute." Not the best selection criteria. That approach hasn't worked; it can't work....things are more interconnected than that.
5) What are our fundamental "human infrastructure processes"? (computer and information systems, manufacturing/machine tool industry, and chemical infrastructure systems...(which ones are the largest polluters?) *media and education infrastructure systems*; assessement of corporate, banking and political actors, etc.) "Failures" in any or all of these human systems...have immediate implications, both in terms of negative impact on bio- systems and (ironically)...the only tools/hope of remediating them.
6) What are our intellectual knowledge resources to identify and respond to the above issues? Prioritize in terms of need, impact on future generations; comprehensive assessment of problems; comprehensive assessment of probable solutions. Initiate a sustained global educational program(s) on these issues (i.e. problems, priorities & possible solutions. i.e. "get everyone in on the know".) Would be nice to have a color coded 'overview board' - much like the UK "blue, yellow, red sectors"...which the UK used to track various industries concerning Y2K.
7) *Prioritize* threats to environment in terms of the 'degree of degradation' (bio-systems), current rate of destruction in each 'sector', number of people/species impacted (now and in the future). Get a comprehensive grasp of the situation.
8) Inventory of basic human needs and trends. Meaning, what resources (physical and intellectual) do we have to meet human needs, and the above challenges?
9) After comprehensive assessement, have individuals and groups put together their best and most comprehensive strategies to address the above issues. In essence, detailing one or more transition paths which could get us from 'where we are' (very insecure present; not sustainable) to 'where we would prefer to be' (secure, sustainable, humane future). Also, identify the changes in understanding which would have to take place (intellectual/education programs) in order to get from where we are now, to where we would like to be. Also, identifying the actions which need to be taken....based on the above understanding...and, most important: What are the resistances to getting from where we are.....to where we would prefer to be? Very important to address that one...for it is the key to shifting the whole situation. These questions can help provide a useful framework and context to work from.
10) Based on the above.....how to initiate an education revolution worldwide?....that would inspire a design revolution to actually address the above issues effectively? What educational and/or incentive programs could be put in place, funded, etc....to inspire and accelerate the above?
One 'problem' Humanity has in remediating "global bio-infrastructure threats" is that we DON'T have a fixed deadline date like Y2K....at least not one that we can perceive with any accuracy. These things are much more like "fuzzy logic" problems....compared to how to fix something as clear as a four digit date field. I believe the only thing which can get us to take these issues as seriously as we did Y2K....will be comprehensive assessment and education on these issues. Only then will we be able to provide ourselves with the motivation to 'get the job done'....or to engender the level of cooperation needed to address these issues....literally, before its too late. We have already made some very serious environmental mistakes; we don't' need to continue down that road. We need to find someway to get our foot "off the accellerator" and turn *away* from the cliff.
That's the way I see it.....granted, the above is a very "shoot from the hip" assessment of what needs to be done. The difficulty is, that the depth of the problems are so great, the level of human suffering so great, the level of corporate 'corruption' is so great....and probable consequences so horrifying....that it is enough to psychologically destroy most individuals who see even 1/2 of 'the whole problem'. It makes us face up to what we really are......not what we tell ourselves....as a species and global civilization. A lot of hidden agendas would have to come to public awareness before the necessary pressures would be in place to motivate enough people to not only demand, but be a part of finding and implementing needed solutions. That's a pretty tall order...but we won't 'make it' (not in the long run) as a planetary species if we cannot find someway to do this....i have no doubt about that.
Understood or not.....this IS Humanitie's imperative.......not because I said so, or that it's my 'opinion' this is so......no. The DATA itself says this is so.......doesn't need anyone to even exaggerate it to know that we are in very serious trouble right now. If someone doesn't know this....then they are simply uninformed about the present extent and rates of destruction...and have no historical context or understanding of new technologies from which to view 'present trends'. Complicating matters further, is their lack of understanding Earth "energy exchange systems" (atmospherics, hydraulics, ocean systems, etc.), their lack of understanding how chemicals persist and re-combine in the environment (synergies), how they pass through and concentrate in bio-systems; how they effect endocrine systems....and how they impact DNA, reproductive, and immune systems....in humans and other species. Moreso, not understanding the interconnections between various systems....how they make up the very fabric of what holds our "bio-sphere" together.
Most of these problems are not "visible".....but just because they cannot be seen does not mean they are not there, anymore than X- Rays 'were not there' before their discovery by Madame Curie. Just because you can't see the grass growing does not mean that you are not going to have to mow the lawn next week......that kind of thing.
So, the only tool we have to see and deal with these things is Knowledge.....comprehensive knowledge of systems; understanding the invisible....and using our god-given brains and our Hearts....to make better choices, based on what we know, outside and 'inside'.
Knowledge.......rather, widespread education, about all this...is Humanity's number one priority. And that's more than an 'ideal'....it's a survival imperative for all Humanity...or there will be great suffering and lost opportunity.
Unfortunately...the consequences will be, and are now, being felt by those who had very little to do with making the decisions: always, the young, the elderly, the women, the less fortunate, the less well informed....they are the ones who suffer the consequences of those who have the power, money and position to truly make a difference. Whether or not they have the emotional maturity, or the care, to see beyond themselves and their own short term goals and egos....remains to be seen.
Kind of a long winded answer to a very short question......no? In summary, I would do all I could to re-context the 'meaning' of the UK BCP project......and get all those very bright, intelligent people working together, sharing information and ideas together......and shift-up a level to consider a "Global Life Continuity Project"....and approach it with all that was learned from Y2K. Just generalize what was learned....and determine....and focus on: "What.....truly......do our infrastructure systems consist of? And after making that assessment.....what are the real threats? What needs to be done? What do we have to do it with? And what creative, imaginative things could we do to inspire, to engender global cooperation on these very important and far reaching issues....? If I had a magic wand.....that's what I would try to do with the BCP project or any Y2K group....and not lose any momentum. The danger is that people will go back to sleep.....will go back to specialization. Y2K is about as close as Humanity has ever come to meeting a 'comprehensive global threat'. We really could go to the next level if we understood the potential consequences involved..which is exactly what motivated so many to get so much done regarding Y2K remediation. This time we got quite lucky...but of course, it was one of the lesser, more obvious, 'can't delay the date any longer' kind of threat. To bad our environmental 'dead lines' are not as clear to us...but they are certainly there, and are far greater than Y2K in terms of long term consequences.
In short, it requires looking at *everything* from the point of view of: "What does this have to do with creating a humane, sustainable future for everyone?" and "Is this really the kind of world I want to have my children live in?" And answer that honestly, because that is one of the few things which can really get us to the heart of the matter. Easy to sit back and just 'talk' about these problems, academically posture, etc...but a whole different story when it's you, or in your backyard, or is happening to your family or children...that is the kind of awareness and caring we need in this world today....thinking about things like that...as if people mattered, as if environments and other species mattered.....as if future generations mattered.
I know all this sounds quite ideal.....but I can't see any other way we are going to get to a humane and sustainable future for the majority of people....a future that is joyful, one that brings out the best in people....and not the worst. We humans are capable of both.
You are probably sorry you asked now, (if you have read this far)....but that is the way I see it, and what I know to be true in my heart... Think about how to re-context the meaning of "continuity"........"infrastructure"......and maybe even ask: "What lessons did we learn from Y2K....that might help us remediate the global environmental challenges still ahead of us?" "What are the many elements of our "infrastructure systems"?....not just the computers.
It would be nice to see something like that to come out of all this "Y2K thing"....where it quickened our ability to respond to Human and environmental needs. That would really be showing Creation, and each other, that we learned 'something worth knowing' from all this Y2K stuff.
Given limited funding and time....I made a 'best effort' for now, an initial framework addressing all these issues at http://www.bashar.com/GSP. Im nopt trying to promote any personal agenda here; am trying to draw attention to the issues....yes. Yes, much information and links are located at the the GSP website on these issues, but also please note: the information on the GSP website is not even 5% of the information in our computer database and written documents library. But it is a start, much still remains to be done to get it all up on the web so everyone can benefit from what is know about these issues...it's everybody's right to know what is happening in our world....and that there are meaninful solutions, and that we can and need to make better decisions....and knowldge is the key.
One final comment....your efforts, the many UK teams, UK projects.....did an outstanding job and made world-class contributions to understanding the Y2K situation. Thank you Dave, and to *all* the dedicated people in the UK who made a difference when it counted....really impressive stuff. Or, as Cartman from South Park might say: "Kick Ass.....! Sweet!" (wink!)
Steve Meyers Global Strategies Project http://www.bashar.com/GSP
PS. A good indicator of some "real solutions" can be found by reading the "Solutions" section at the GSP website, particularily, the articles on the uses industrial hemp. Guaranteed...it's right in front of our faces, but will we have care and widsom to implement it in time....that's the question.
-- Steve Meyers (SMeyers33@aol.com), January 11, 2000.
(Opps. We'll try again..I hope this will correct the formatting errors on the URLs in Part II of II above)
(Hopefully that did the trick...)
-- Steve Meyers (SMeyers33@aol.com), January 11, 2000.
I learned that even the government with all of its resources could not correctly gauge what Y2K's early impact on foreign countries would be. For example:
Russia and Ukraine. Russia and Ukraine are particularly vulnerable to Y2K failures. They got a late start in remediation and lack sufficient resources to identify and correct problems- virtually guaranteeing that the countries will suffer economic and social consequences for some time. Both countries have old capital stock, much of which has not been upgraded since the Soviet era. They are further impeded because of their perception that a limited computer dependence largely "protects" them.
-- Linkmeister (email@example.com), January 11, 2000.
The only difference between the governments guesses and ours is theirs cost more.
-- Squid (ItsDark@down.here), January 11, 2000.
---Squid wins so far, most succinct, most true, shortest message. I agree. There are NO experts in this field, just folks with some knowledge of different aspects of computers and software. As to what anyone learned about y2k....
-- everyone (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 11, 2000.
We learned that Government and Business are not always lying to us.
-- (email@example.com), January 11, 2000.
Someone can be wrong for the right reasons, and someone can be right for the wrong reasons (or can be right because they were guessing).
-- Intentions (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 11, 2000.
I learned how easily people adopt belief systems and then look for evidence to support them. OK, I was reminded of this.
I learned that some people never get tired of crying "Wolf!". Even when they have the best of intentions, it gets tiring to hear the same groundless shrieks and wails of panic day after day after day after day after day.
I learned the difference between plausible and credible.
I learned to despise both people who talk about Y2K in the past tense, and those who continue to jump at every shadow and moan that "The End Is Nigh". I don't think that it's over, and I certainly don't think we've seen the worst of it. But when "it" gets here, then we'll all know without needing to read hyperbole-laden, out of context factoids, because "it" by definition is large scale disruption. The closest we've come to that is the credit card multiple billing. Everything else so far - that we know of - has been utterly insignificant. If it's minor, short term, isolated, and has no knock on effects, it's insignificant.
I learned to detest people who assume that if you disagree with their extreme views (doomer, polly), then you must automatically subscribe to the opposite view. Extremists seem unable to cope with middle ground. You're either with them or you aren't. That's paranoia, pure and simple. To borrow a common polly phrase, I pity them, pollys and doomers alike.
I learned what a dumb bunch of shmucks most of you are. With a very few exceptions, this forum is populated by easily led knuckle draggers whut kant evun spel. That probably includes you, yeah, you at that keyboard. Or maybe not. You choose.
I learned boundless admiration for those brave souls with the intellect and the patience to keep posting calm and reasonable debunking of the screaming hysteria, while still retaining an open mind. Ken Decker will be sorely missed. Also in my "there's hope for us yet" category are those tireless workers like Homer Beanfang and linkmiester who've quoshed their egos and provided content without commentary.
I learned... oh hang on, most of you won't have the patience to read this far. Like you either didn't have the patience to stick with this thing after the non-event of rollover, or don't have the patience to wait for the Bad Stuff without pointing and shrieking like frightened schoolchildren every time a nuke site gets powered down according to a long term schedule, or the stock market does the same thing it does at the start of every year.
-- Servant (email@example.com), January 11, 2000.
As an addendum to Squid's succint posting, we were able to do our analyses in our PJs and bunny slippers, while government and industry analysts had to dress up in uncomfortable clothes.
-- Firemouse (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 11, 2000.
Everyone knows the story of the elephant - it's even been used to describe the Y2k situation. One blind man said it was a hose, one said a tree stump, one said a pole, one said a blanket and another said a brush. Each one posted his impression on the forum. After reading these postings, everyone concluded that an elephant wouldn't work.
-- M (email@example.com), January 11, 2000.
I don't think that we learned a single thing from y2k. Humanity only learns what it wants to. We are still destroying our life support systems (the environment) at an unbelievable rate , we are still continuing to breed in a fashion that would put a rabbit to shame, at the same time as artificaly increasing lifespans far beyond what god intended , not realising that we have very limited resources and are using them in such a way that they won't be able to be replaced. Nobody sees anything wrong with this?. This is all IMHO so flame away..
-- XOR (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 11, 2000.
I finally learned how OJ was found not guilty. Had he confessed, it *could* have been forced out of him. Had someone videotaped him doing it, it *could* have been doctored. Had there been 500 witnesses, they *could* have suffered mass hypnosis.
Had y2k been the defendent and most posters here been the jury, those things are *exactly* what they would have decided. Reasonable doubt requires reason.
-- Flint (email@example.com), January 11, 2000.
The clock I forgot to put a new battery in is absolutely correct at least twice a day. I consider the government as realiable, if not as esthetically pleasing.
-- Squid (ItsDark@down.here), January 12, 2000.
I made my little gesture, thusly:
(oh boy.....i hope for your sake this formats correctly...when I push the 'send' button!)
Y2K As Gift & Opportunity
---------------------------------------------------------------------- Strange though it may sound, Y2K and its fallout need not be a disaster. It has the potential to catalyze a much-needed transformation. Could Y2K be just what we need? A kick in the butt? An unrequested but vital wake-up call? A growing community of social and environmental change activists think that it might be. And I am inclined to agree. It has always seemed to me that the existing order -- which mocks justice and truth -- cannot continue indefinitely, that sooner or later must come some sort of final crisis, at which point we might have the opportunity to choose a different course. Y2K may just precipitate that "final crisis". Beyond that, it is up to us.
Economist and futurist Robert Theobald: "The Y2K bug provides us with an extraordinary opportunity to ask ourselves the profound questions which have been buried by our wealth and our technology. It is a time for us to ask what we really value and how we can preserve the ecological systems on which all life depends."
Psychologist and management consultant Doug Carmichael: "[Y2K presents] opportunities to radically rethink technology, the place of money, the opportunities for community, art, relationships ... [it can forward] positive images of a new community/individual focused future. No longer so much abstract market and consumption, but the graceful use of technology and education to meet human needs and leave people in the foreground, not marginalized as the current technology/market/career mix has supported."
See also Notable and Quotable on the Upside -- a brief selection of quotes on the positive and transformational aspects of Y2K (nice for one-page print).
NEW: The Millennium Bomb (Roberto Verzola) Roberto Verzola, the secretary-general of the Philippine Greens, writes: "The Y2K crisis is but a warning shot. While it is scaring many people, its impact will not be as bad as the ecological disasters we can already see coming. Knowing this, we can take the Y2K crisis as a timely warning to stop denying ecological problems, to switch to early concern, and to stop pinning our hopes on frantic - - and futile -- last-minute attempts to fix problems. The Millennium Bomb is probably our last chance for a relatively painless systemic transformation". Yo! (mar99)
NEW: Y2K: On Planning for the Unforeseeable (Rich Ahern) Researched and co-edited by Yours Truly, this article reviews the problem and suggests a community-based program centered around "the New England Town Meeting. It is still alive and often well in our northeastern states. Both Thomas Jefferson and Tom Paine believed that democracy would never take hold in America unless and until the Town Meeting model were propagated across all the United States." (mar99)
Awakening to Y2K (Michael Brownlee, Cogenesis Journal) THE BEST. Of all the many hundreds of articles I have read about Y2K, this one is the best general introduction to the subject. Period. This guy has an incredible gift for taking in the vast complexity and detail and ambiguity of the issue, and reducing it all to a pithy, readable, and altogether sensible summation. Truly outstanding. And to top it off, the spin is positive, with an emphasis on the transformational potential of Y2K (that's why I am listing it here, as well as on my Newbies/Introduction page). SECOND BEST: Brownlee's What You Need To Know About Y2K, an excellent companion item. These are the two items that I am reprinting for friends. (dec98)
Y2K in Context (Paul Swann) My friend Paul Swann has written a fine article (a "meditation", he calls it) on Y2K in the context of an unjust and oppressive global economic order; Y2K as symptomatic and emblematic of an insanely imbalanced system of things. Take the time to read his contribution. Also, note (on the same file) The Citizens' Public Trust Treaty. (jan99)
The Year 2000: Social Chaos or Social Transformation? A very fine and thoughtful general overview of Y2K from John Petersen, Margaret Wheatley, and Myron Kellner-Rogers (World Future Society), with a positive and transformational spin, looking at the problem as an opportunity rather than as shearly a big bummer. My activist friend Paul Swann writes that this article "doesn't really say anything that isn't already known. But it's clearly based on serious research and careful analysis, and carries a quality of authority that demands to be taken seriously. It also presents a persuasive argument for coalition building and creating new organizational and leadership structures to meet the challenges that lie ahead." Just so. His whole letter is worth a read. See also the more recent (14 Dec 98) Turning to One Another: The Possibilities of Y2K, by Wheatley & Kellner-Rogers. (jul98)
The Co-Intelligence Institute Y2K-Breakthrough Page Tom Atlee's terrific progressive-oriented Y2K thought/action pages. "How to prepare for Y2K in ways that can lead to real breakthroughs: Better quality of life; Environmental sanity and sustainability; Revitalized, resilient communities; Cultural transformation; Realization of our human potential; Social justice; Deeper, more real and effective democracy". Includes A Call for a Progressive Y2K Agenda and other great stuff. (dec98)
Breakthrough Issues We Might Wrestle with, Thanks to Y2K Another Tom Atlee page, worthy of separate listing; good think-notes on the key issues. "As the Y2K crisis unfolds, people's rising mistrust of existing structures may lead them to question and transform underlying assumptions (and thence structures) so we can move on to something better. Those of us wishing to facilitate that change can create opportunities for people to explore such issues together." Also, toward bottom of this page, see Doug Carmichael's excellent notes: "If y2k is a symptom, what is it a symptom of?" And yet ANOTHER page from Tom Atlee: Why the Year 2000 Problem is an Environmental Issue -- nominally about environment implications, but mostly about the transformative potential of Y2K. Y2K presents opportunities for: "1) Conscious interconnectedness, 2) Increasing localness, 3) Increasing sustainability, 4) Transforming the role of technology, 5) Focusing on quality of life, 6) Social equity, 7) Spirituality" (dec98)
Resilient Communities "Resilient Communities developed out of consideration of Y2K or the Millennium Bug. What we realized was that beyond the issues of whether or not there was a real concern, beyond the question of how to prepare for something other than 'life as usual' when January 1, 2000 hits, there was the opportunity to invite people to think together about our quality of life." See also the Community Resilience project: "our goal is to have several hundred thousand people in 200 or more communities thinking, talking and committing to actions which will lead to more healthy personal, community and global futures. Clearly ambitious, this goal intends to make use of the energy and interest surfacing around Y2K at an exponential rate and invite people into a heartfelt examination of resiliency." Resilient Communities is the brainchild of futurist and visionary Robert Theobald, who writes in Reweaving Community Resilience that "Y2K is a reminder that our communities, and the broader systems in which they are embedded, have become dangerously brittle. The directions in which we need to move are no different, however, than those which have been proposed by future-oriented thinkers for years and decades. This brief piece suggests a way in which communities can start to organize the work which will reweave community resilience." Further, in Y2K: Convergence and Divergence, he writes that "Y2k is part of a far broader shift that we must make if we are to avoid large-scale economic, social, moral, ecological and spiritual collapse. If this is true, then solving Y2K without learning its basic lessons will be a profound failure. Y2K is an opportunity to learn that the paradigm within which we currently think and act is fundamentally flawed ... The object therefore is not to deal with Y2K so that it only becomes a `bump in the road`. I see the challenge as being understanding how Y2K can enable us to make the shift from using mechanical images to thinking and acting organically. It is not enough to wonder how we can go back to `business as usual` after the impact of Y2K -- however serious it may be. Rather we need to be helping people to think about the world they want in the twenty-first century." (dec98)
The Millennial Passage: Key Questions (Larry Victor) Do we really WANT to get thru this crisis without asking fundamental questions about the existing order? Here are Larry Victor's questions relating to Y2K going beyond business-as-usual. Also a nice mini- essay titled The Gift of Y2K: "I personally see Y2K as a gift, a wake- up call to examine our fundamental assumptions about reality and human nature, to learn more about happenings over the many decades (even centuries) of our history, to begin to add up exceptions and maybe discover that an organization of exceptions represents a better system of rules than the proclaimed rules they were to be exceptions for. I see facing the Y2K Challenge as a high spiritual adventure..." (dec98)
Year 2000 Sceanarios and Towards Action Doug Carmichael's unique typology of possible outcomes with many good insights on how the whole imbroglio might be turned into something positive. "Y2k provides an opportunity to clean up our act, get conscious once again, develop wisdom. I see it as therapeutic, redemptive, essential. This will be hard work. But has dignity to it. May even at times be fun. Certainly rewarding, certainly meaningful." Well worth reading in spite of the distracting typos and grammatical errors. Within his notebooks can be found some gems: "Our near total belief in things like money, gross national product, the sanctity of jobs, the free market, the invisible hand, can be seen, if we look at our society with the eye of an anthropologist, to be basically, fundamentally, profoundly religious. From this perspective we can say that we have been living in one of the great ages of faith in history. From our commuting, our coffee breaks, our mail-order catalogs, our insurance forms and the general pattern of daily life, we can say this is one of the most highly ritualized societies in history. To question all this by suggesting y2k makes a mess of it raises profound anxiety." (jun98)
Y2K: The Opportunity of Our Lifetimes (Davidson, LaPorte and McLaughlin) "If Y2K triggers the collapse of some of our infrastructures, it could pave the way for many of the key social transformation movements of the last twenty years to leap forward. Our individual and collective sense of purpose could mobilize everything from environmental consciousness, alternative energy and organic farming, to social investment, alternative currency, complementary medicine and co-ops of all kinds. Previously uninvolved members of the public could work their talents and skills into a new system that serves the real life needs of all types of people." See also the other good articles on this site, including A Note About Cultural Creatives and Y2K, and especially Michael Brownlee's writings on Y2K (see URL elsewhere on this page). (dec98)
Y2K: Knock-Out for Industrial Society Or Merely [sic] a Global Depression? Mark Robinowitz: "Everyone, at either a conscious or unconscious level, has always known that industrial civilization is unsustainable and unstable ... If there's anything positive about the Y2K chaos, it is the possibility of finally being forced into more sustainable ways of living. The 2000 crash could spell the end of multinational corporations, GATT, NAFTA, the World Bank, IMF austerity policies, the newly created World Trade Organization, and other parts of the global economy." Yo! (sep98)
Destroy Market Capitalism In Six Easy Steps (Kyle Holbrock) The in-your-face title is followed by a pretty good little intro to Y2K and some worthwhile leftward rhetoric: "Every computer in the world will face a new situation at the same time. An uncountable number of bugs will appear in predictable and unpredictable places, overwhelming the fire-fighters who normally take care of them. The mediocre time of capitalism will have collided head-on with complex time of organic reality." Kudos, Kyle! (dec98)
I Am Because We Are (Eric Utne) Founder of the Utne Reader, Eric Utne, writes an introduction to Utne's Y2K Citizen's Action Guide: "Y2K is the excuse we've been waiting for to stop making so many compromises in how we know we should, and want to, live our lives. Y2K is our opportunity to stop our polluting and wasteful practices, and start living more sustainable, environmentally friendly lives. Y2K is the conversational gambit that can lead to discussions that begin to knit webs of affiliation, care, and mutual support. Y2K can bring a family feeling throughout the community." (dec98)
Turning to One Another: The Possibilities of Y2K (Wheatley & Kellner- Rogers) "The sweet irony of Y2K is that if we use it now as an opportunity to re-create our communities and culture, whatever technological failures materialize won't have the same negative impact. If we have worked together to discover what's possible, we will have developed the collective capacity and compassion to go through whatever trials Y2K presents to us. If we begin in earnest now to call ourselves together, the millennial sun can provide its energy to those dreams of community held by many of us." (dec98)
The Real Y2K Problem (David La Chapelle) "The real issue underneath the compelling dangers of Y2k is far more daunting than the remediation, triage and damage control of our eroding computer networks; It is the need for a more sustainable, renewable, resting and spiritually fulfilling way of life." (dec98)
Seeing Y2K As A Gift To Save Us From Ourselves (Robert Roskind) A thoughtful essay. "The legacy [of Y2K] to the planet may be as important as the lessons taught by our greatest spiritual teachings and teachers. It may serve to remind us that we are all inter- connected and inter-dependent." One can hope. (dec98)
ABC Earth 2002 (1998-2002: The Millennium Passage) Larry Victor, an unusual visionary fellow, sees Y2K as a focus for and catalyst of positive global change. "Augmenting Base Camps (ABC), is a bootstrap strategy for collaborative, self-organizing grassroots expeditions (a la wagon trains) to cross the Millennium Divide and build a better, sustainable humanity in the 21st century. This site encourages a dialog between the Dangers and Opportunities of Y2K." Good idea, huh? See especially A Modestly Outrageous Proposal: "I propose we shift our driving archetypes for Y2K from disaster planning to a spirited, adventurous, enjoyable migration/expedition to a new and better world, a trek that will be challenging, yet less dangerous (if we organize appropriately) than continuing to live in our decaying societal systems ... Y2K must synergize with the larger Global Crisis, and both must synergize with the challenge and opportunity of creating a much better world for ourselves and our children's children. The metaphors of migration, wagon trains crossing a millennium divide, expeditions and adventure are a must. Indeed, a key emotional theme must be ENJOY Y2K." (oct98)
(compiled by: Alan E. Lewis)
-- Alan (Alan@plenty.smart.com), January 13, 2000.
I agree...Squid wins! Actually...thanx *everyone*.
The situation kinda IS what it is...has very little to do with what we say, think, do, or not do. Ya know what i mean?? Of course this doesn't provide much insight either...does it?
Truly..thanx all. Great stuff.
Like self-punishment *AND* to rack your brains?
PS. Yeah Squid...it *IS* dark down here...and getting deeper everyday. Seem like more crabs than usual too...
-- Steve Meyers (SMeyers33@aol.com), January 13, 2000.
"What I learned from Y2K...."
Nepal rice farmer:
1. Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
2. When you lose, don't lose the lesson.
3. Follow the three Rs: Respect for self Respect for others Responsibility for all your action
4. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
5. Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.
6. Don't let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
7. When you realize you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
8. Spend some time alone.
9. Open your arms to change, but don't let go of your values.
10. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer
11. Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you'll be able to enjoy it a second time.
12. A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life. Do all you can to create a tranquil, harmonious home.
13. In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don't bring up the past.
14. Share your knowledge. It's a way to achieve immortality.
15. Be gentle with the earth.
16. Once a year, go someplace you've never been before.
17. Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other
18. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.
19. Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.
-- don't-think-2-much (Nepal@ricepaddy.com), January 13, 2000.
Ok. How about what we probably *WILL NOT* learn from Y2K...?? Yeah..that's it!!
Reply to original email posts by Dave Spinks UK-BCP and Martyn Emery (included below)
Just sharing a few thoughts which came to mind after reading the Turnbull Report and both your comments below. It's perhaps somewhat 'off-topic'...except in the highest sense of "accounting". No reply needed or expected...just something to ponder.
Martyn, if I correctly understood what you were meaning/suggesting (your email below) - that the Turnbull principles could be applied to Govt operations as well - (Why shouldn't the same principles and construction of reasoning apply to them equally?)....then my hat off to you for your insight, and for standing-up and saying so. Give that man a cigar! (smile/wink!)
Dave pointed out: "The interesting thing about Turnbull is that for the very first time, the boards of UK companies will have to take a regular and active interest in Environmental, Safety and Operational Risks." Now that IS good news. Get the govt to abide by the same principles, have them reciprocate (do what they say) and make the same yearly accounting to UK companies and the People....and Turnbull will go down in history as another UK national hero.
Here's extending Turnbull's general idea of "risk management" and "internal control accounting":
Wouldn't it be nice if 'accounting' included not only 'direct internal operations' and 'risk management control' accounting systems (item B below) so investors/stockholders could be 'fully informed' *and* be able to make socially conscious investment decisions)...to also include:
A) Accounting for the frontside 'extraction costs' on the environment of a company's operations. For example: The company's contribution to rate of rainforest destruction in obtaining lumber ; associated pollution impacts on the environment from extraction processes, e.g. mining, oil operations, loss of arable land, species destruction, nuclear processing, etc. (best example: Baley, Russia http://www.mg.co.za/mg/news/97jul2/29jul-radioactive2.html
B) Standard 'internal' company accounting. i.e. balance sheets, overhead, profit and loss statements, reports to stock holders, risk management reports, (Turnbull), etc.
C) Accounting for actual "backside" costs to the environment from company operations and products, i.e. accounting for company's contribution to polluting the environment (if any) as a result of it's operations. e.g. CO2 loading; impact on rivers, ground water, the atmosphere, toxins of all kinds. Best example: Fluorides from Aluminum manufacturing and processing. http://www.trufax.org/fluoride/isfrextracts.html
D) Accounting for immediate, near term impacts on social health issues. (best example: oil/automobile/manufacturing industries contribution to air pollution, respiratory diseases, heart disease, pesticides in food, degradation of air and water quality, etc.)
E) Accounting for the mid and long range impacts on future generations (the obvious, common sense issues)...expected future health care costs, loss of opportunity and productive capacity, loss of habitat, quality of food, air and water resources, species destruction, loss of bio-diversity, enjoyment of nature, loss of "Commons", etc.
F) A 'Turnbull Reporting Requirement for Government Operations' to account for and hold them to the same high standards of "internal risk managment"...to make sure they are not 'off-course' in their duties to protect the rights of the People, minimise government/corp. corruption, efficient, proper functioning of govt. etc. Same as the principles outlined in the Turnbull Report...just a version specific to the government, and for the same reasons it is required of UK companies responsibilities to investors. (Something like what the US GAO has done in many areas...in my opinion, one of the few govt departments in the US that still has any common sense left...their work is exemplary.)
So, in simple terms:
(present myopic, dis-connected, incomplete 'accounting system') [B]
(comprehensive, responsible, Real Accounting System) = [A + B + C + D + E] + [+ F]
Clearly, better decisions, including Turnbull's 'risk management' objectives...would result. If an individual like Turnbull could take the initiative, setting a new world standard by example, over time, such policies could be implemented to insure the short and long term well being a nation's true longevity, the well being of it's People health and productivity, their future as a sovereign nation, and role model for global Humanity. "No man, or nation, stands alone".
Turnbull & The ICA-England & Wales could take the initiative to begin to implement such measures....and wouldn't it be ironic if it were the accountants.....of all people....that took the lead in environmental issues, and did more to bring about positive change in these areas, to insure the future well being of their *own* family, children and their grandchildren....and make a truly profound difference in the quality of Life for all. It could be done....and we all know it needs to be done.
It certainly would open new careers in accounting; ensure plenty of much needed and valuable work; and as a side effect, achieve Turnbull's objectives in the highest sense. Would not be bad for the accounting industry at all. The 'payoffs' in the long run for a nation which set such an example would be enormous....both quantitatively (in real dollar terms) and qualitatively. It could engender an incredible sense of national cooperation and social responsibility, and continue to build on all that was just accomplished in addressing Y2K issues. Nothing really that profound...just taking it to the next logical step.
[Note: for others who may read this, the basis and construction of reasoning for implementing the above is addressed in the following thread at greenspun: http://hv.greenspun.com/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg.tcl?msg_id=002I7J. Well worth the read: (thread) "Y2K - Did we REALLY Learn Anything?")
All the above is somewhat 'idealistic' to be sure, but certainly something worth considering. There *is* a center place of balance, where this idea could be implemented to some meaningful degree. Government could even get involved and offer tax incentives to inspire companies to move in these directions. A little creative imagination can go along way...and everyone would benefit in some way.....now and in the future.
'off topic Steve' Global Strategies Project http://www.bashar.com/GSP
============================================================== In a message dated 1/12/2000 4:59:37 AM Central Standard Time, firstname.lastname@example.org writes:
<< Subj: [uk-bcp] Re: The Turnbull Report (UK) Date: 1/12/2000 4:59:37 AM Central Standard Time From: email@example.com (David Spinks) Reply-to: firstname.lastname@example.org To: email@example.com CC: E-COM-SEC@Egroups.com (E-COM-SEC) File: article5.doc (24064 bytes) DL Time (TCP/IP): < 1 minute Martyn AEA Technology are working with a number of clients helping them to implement Turnbull compliant Risk Management and Board level reporting systems. The interesting thing about Turnbull is that for the very first time the boards of UK companies will have to take a regular and active interest in Environmental, Safety and Operational Risks. Please find attached an article written by Tony Hurst for one of the accountancy magazines on the impacts of the Turnbull report. The full Turnbull report is available at : http://www.icaew.co.uk/internalcontrol/ regards David Spinks -----Original Message----- From: Martyn Emery <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: INTERNET:email@example.com
Date: 12 January 2000 09:52 Subject: [uk-bcp] The Turnbull Report (UK)
-- Steve Meyers (SMeyers33@aol.com), January 13, 2000.
i'm going to have to print this off and study it at more leisure, too heady (read 'full of thought-provoking content') to digest at a crt.
i truly hope i'm not considered a knuckle-dragger because i disdain capital letters. very few words, in my estimation, acutally deserve them.
my next assignment is to access steve's solutions site.
thank you all.
-- Cowardly Lion (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 18, 2000.
oh, yes, one more thing we learned/were reminded of:
"a man hears what he wants to hear, and disregards the rest"
the boxer, by paul simon
love and peace to all
-- Cowardly Lion (email@example.com), January 19, 2000.